STEAM in Action: From Garden to (Lab) Table to Canvas

This fall, third- and fourth-graders at Ranney School (Tinton Falls, NJ) had the opportunity to work in the Upper School chemistry lab alongside their older peers as part of a cross-disciplinary, cross-divisional STEAM project.

First, they created dye harvested from flowers that they planted in the school’s community garden last spring. Students had a great time crushing up the flower petals inside a mortar bowl and boiling them in Bunsen burners with the help of their Upper School scientists. After adding ethyl alcohol and letting the mixture sit for a week, students then used the extracted color to make a thick dye by adding cornstarch. Next up, the pigment was turned over to art classes for the final stage – using the dye as paint. Students used the nature-made colors to create works of art on paper as well as glass.

Does your school do something similar?

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